Greener pastures

“SPS’ extraordinary frameworks and capability have proven such an effective combination; we’ve made it our primary leadership and performance management tool.”

Peter McClure
CEO, Fonterra Brands NZ
An overview

Fonterra Co-operative Group is a New Zealand based multinational dairy co-operative that produces around 30% of the world's dairy exports. With revenue exceeding NZ$17 billion, it is New Zealand's largest company.

Fonterra Brands (FBNZ) is its New Zealand based brand business responsible for producing some of the world’s most loved dairy products including the likes of Anchor, Mainland, De Winkel and Symbio.

In July 2007, FBNZ’s Executive Team invited us to help them improve the performance of its 1,300 employees across each of its seven manufacturing sites. Once its strategic priorities were agreed, they deployed our process to equip their people with the tools to deliver the outcomes they were looking for.

How to create the next great era for FBNZ

Even though our brands are well established, we operate in a highly competitive market that is under constant pressure from lobbyists, customers, consumers and government officials alike. Therefore, getting our strategy right to ensure it resonated with our stakeholders was paramount to us delivering our objectives.

On the back of the review, Peter (McClure) gave me the mandate to find a solution that would enable our leaders to drive the changes we were after to establish the next great era for the business.

Daniel Love HR Director

The Steel Performance System (SPS)

During the strategic review Craig (Steel) facilitated, we identified two areas of opportunity where we believed we could outperform our competitors and in doing so, win additional market share. These areas were ‘innovation’ and operational ‘transformation’.

Once our strategic plan was in place, we agreed the only way we could execute it was by lifting the performance and capability of our people.

How we’ve achieved this is not only testament to Peter’s vision, but a compelling example of how a company can transform the performance of its workforce when led from the front and supported by the right framework.

Daniel Love HR Director


Since deploying the SPS, we've realised an unprecedented improvement in staff performance and engagement, a 20% increase in market share, an increase in our innovation-led revenue from 2% to 16%, profit growth of over 30% and an improvement in our health and safety status from one of Fonterra’s worst performers to one of its best.

As we’ve rolled the process out across the business, we can see the momentum building. Today, we are hearing different conversations taking place throughout the business as staff are more engaged in what they do, and critically, they’re thinking about how they can do it better. 

Improving a company’s culture is a journey, however, what we’ve introduced here gives me confidence that we are on to something special.

There’s no doubt, SPS' process is by far and away the most powerful tool I have ever seen in terms of developing high performing people.

Daniel Love HR Director

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